Walter Miller, BU Law Professor of 49 Years, Announces Retirement

Walter W. Miller, Jr.

An honored member of the Boston University School of Law faculty, Wally Miller has announced his retirement at the end of this year.

Prior to studying law, Professor Miller earned his A.B. from Harvard University and his B.D. from the Lutheran Theological Seminary. Between graduation from Harvard and attending Seminary, he studied at Oxford University in England and received a certificate of completion at the end of his studies. While at Seminary he also studied American Civilization in a graduate programat the University of Pennsylvania. After his ordination, he served as a clergyperson and as chairman of the Council of Churches Television Committee in Syracuse, NY where he organized and scripted programs and regularly appeared on television. After his service in the clergy, he spent a year teaching seventh and eighth grade students in an inner city school in Buffalo, NY.

Professor Miller then turned his attention to the field of law and earned his J.D. from the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Law. He earned his LL.M. degree from Harvard Law School while also studying at the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration. In 1965, he began teaching at BU Law. He is also an active member of the New York and Massachusetts Bars.

During his long career at BU Law, Professor Miller has taught contracts, uniform commercial code, bankruptcy, securities regulation, conflict of laws, legal history, and legal ethics. He has endeavored to teach his students not only how to think like lawyers, but most importantly how to conduct themselves honorably and ethically in the legal arena. "For a civilization to survive and thrive, the population must trust its laws, lawmakers, lawyers and judges, and that trust must be founded on the fact that those who serve do so with honesty and integrity,” he states. A popular teacher, the enrollment in his Commercial Code course on more than one occasion topped 350 students in the 1980’s.

A leading authority in bankruptcy law, Professor Miller has given a number of speeches to alumni around New England as well as to alumni members of the Boston Bar Association. He is also a specialist in the areas of contract law and the Uniform Commercial Code and has published several books and journal articles in various fields of law. His writings have been cited as relevant authority in majority opinions of the United States Supreme Court.

On the lighter side, for many years Professor Miller participated in the student run Legal Follies show given each spring. Professor Miller was instrumental in arranging for the first Follies presentation in the 1960’s and has always been a strong supporter of student activities. This interest in youth activities goes back to his high school years when in the summer months he served as counselor, water safety instructor, and assistant camp director with the YMCA.

For his years of dedication, Professor Miller received the Silver Shingle Alumni Award for Distinguished Service to the School of Law, as well as the Michael Melton Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Make a gift to BU Law in Professor Miller's honor.


Guestbook Entries

I feel honored to have had the opportunity to be counted among his students. Thank you professor for your valuable dedication and commitment during all these years. "The best professor I have ever had, and also a wonderful human being." The best for you and family, Yesmina

Morales Nemez, BU LLM student, 2014

Dear Prof. Miller: No words can describe how lucky I am to have you as my professor in my law school days. I wish you all the best rocking the world outside the tower! Da Mao

Da Mao, 2014

It has hard to put into words the impact that Professor Miller has had! He has touched the lives of so many students, and has challenged them to be the best possible lawyers. He also has given so much to Boston University School of Law. Professor Miller has taught a wide range of important courses and has been a terrific institutional citizen. He also showed his creative side by performing in Legal Follies for many years; indeed, those performances rank among the most popular! Professor Miller has always been supportive to me in my work with students, and he is a dear colleague and friend. I will miss you greatly Wally! Congratulations on an amazing career. All the best, Chris Marx

Christine Marx, BU School of Law, Assoc. Dean for Student Affairs

Professor Miller was a wonderful professor and an even better individual. BU is losing a true giant!

Ryan Mangum, Former Contracts Student, 2014

Dear Wally: In addition to being my favorite professor when I was a BUSL student (I loved the 10 page long fact patterns in your exams), I have been truly privileged to spend the last 30 years teaching alongside you. Best of wishes on this new stage of your career. I'll be following you out the door by retiring myself next year. Let me know how you like it. Judi

Judith Diamond, BU Law Immigrants' Rights Clinic, 1974

It was really a pleasure to be your student. Bethlehem Steel Corp case is still fresh in my head. All the best for your new phase of your life. Warm regards, Vikas

Vikas Varma, Class of 2007

Best wishes to Professor Miller and thanks for his many years of involvement with Legal Follies. On behalf of Legal Follies (which I have no actual authority to represent)I offer you a role in Legal Follies shows in perpetuity, unless of course that violates the Rule against Perpetuities, which I never actually learned because I was too busy writing Bon Jovi song parodies for said Legal Follies shows. Enjoy retirement.

AJ Picchione, Legal Follies (2002-2004), Class of 2004

Though I took contracts with Professor Miller 27 years ago and have long since left the practice of law, there is no subject I learned better in law school or has been more useful in my career. The zenith of academic professionalism -- good luck with your future endeavors.

Adam J. Epstein, BU School of Law, Class of 1990

Professor Miller, You are everything that a law professor should be--thank you.

Karen Maier, Class of 1990

Dear Wally-- I have been doubly-honored to have had you as a professor years ago, and to have worked with you at BU Law since 2009. You are a scholar and a gentleman, and you will be sorely missed around the law tower. All best, Ian

Ian C. Pilarczyk, BU Law alum, Director of ELLM Program, Class of 1995

I feel honored to be his student in contract law and sales. He is a perfect professor in my eyes. Very loyal to education, kind to students, and trust worthy. I wish he could teach us for another half century.

Kang Yang, Class of 2015

I am grateful for the privilege of having been your colleague at BULaw for many years. Warm memories of your contributions will live on and on. Speaking for myself, I will always enjoy memories of you singing and dancing in Legal Follies, surrounded by adoring students.

Stanley Fisher, colleague

Wally: This cannot be! We shall miss your wit and common sense.

Rusty Park

I am so honored to have been in your very last contracts class ever. It was a pleasure being taught by you and and even greater gift to get to know you. I can't believe I missed the years that you performed in Legal Follies, I shall strive to find a recording of it! Enjoy the time with your family and I hope you get to Florida in the winters!

Angela DiIenno, Student, Class of 2016

I am very grateful to have been a student in Professor Miller's class. His generosity with his time in helping us get through UCC is truly appreciated! Thank you Professor, you have inspired me in many ways! I wish you are always blessed with great health, happiness and Joy.

Bianne Sadeddin, LL.M in American Law, Class of 2013

Wally, just greeting you in the elevator was often the highlight of the day for me. You distributed cheer and warmth wherever you went...the wisdom was a bonus. I'm recommending a course be taught next year called:"Being Like Wally"...and will be the first to register. Con

Cornelius Hurley, Faculty/Director, Center for Finance, Law & Policy

Professor Miller was amazingly engaging during two of the driest classes of my law school career. Famous for his dual glasses and high energy, he made the distasteful task of understanding UCC palatable. Thank you, Professor Miller and all the best to you in retirement!

Kathleen Mullin, Student, Contracts and UCC, CLass of 1991

Thank you for being such an amazing teacher. We will miss you!

Lauren Falkowitz, Student, Class of 2016

I might not remember everything you taught at class (sorry for that...), but I will always remember you are such a wonderful professor and mentor in my life! Wish you and your family all the best! My dear profession~

Yue Shao, Former UCC student, 2010

For more than forty years, BU Law has been a big part of my life. As a little girl when I got to go to work with you and I would "help" you teach by scribbling all over the chalkboard, to my college days when I knew you were always a few doors away if I needed something, to my life now as the mother of your cherished grandsons.

You are an amazing teacher. I know this from listening to so many of your students over the years. But I also know this by all that you taught me over the course of my life so far. While I know you will sorely miss BU Law and the School will miss you, I am looking forward to even more time together with you and the boys, and embarking on a lot of new opportunities to learn and laugh together!

Thank you BU Law. Thank you Dad. You have made a heck of a team all these years! I love you and I am so honored to be your daughter and to be celebrating this great adventure with you!

Dorothy Miller Twinney, Daughter

Whether it be Raffles v. Wichelhaus (Peerless Case) or Lawrence v. Fox or others, the fundamentals I learned from Professor Miller have echoed in my ears for 25+ years as I continue review and draft contracts on a regular basis. His infectious personality always made learning a lot of fun and he has left an indelible mark on so many peoples' lives. When I think back to my days at BU, Professor Miller is probably the first person that comes to mind. So thank you Professor Miller and I wish you and your family the very best.

Larry Fox, BU School of Law, Class of 1990

You gave foreign students the confidence and respect. You brightened those days when we studied in your classroom. We all love you and we all miss you. Welcome to Beijing

Tong Liu, China Machinery Engineering Corporation, Class of 2001

I thank you very much for your excellent teachings in Contracts and Commercial Code. Your active classes & kind explanation in after classes built the foundation of my US law understanding. Enjoy your next stage. Kaz

Kazuo Sonoki, LL.M. in American Laws, Class of 2003

Dear Professor Miller: I feel extremely privileged to have had the opportunity to learn from you. Your unique ability to teach students the nuances of the Bankruptcy Code and UCC will be missed. I wish you nothing but the best and I hope that you enjoy this time with your friends and family!

AJ Pepper, Student, Bankruptcy and UCC; Note Advisor, 2013, Class of 2014

To one of the kindest, considerate, most concerned professors I have worked with over my years at B.U. law, I wish nothing but the best in your many retirement years to come. May all your wonderful memories from B.U. encourage and support your time away from the law school, and give you satisfaction in the knowledge of the many educations and lives you have touched and enriched during your time here.

Ken Westhassel, B.U. Law Faculty Assistant

It was a pleasure to be in your contracts, bankruptcy and UCC class - inspired and formed my legal education. Hope you have a long, wonderful and healthy retirement and you continue inspiring people.

John Pantekidis, Class of 1993

Thank you Professor Miller for being such a wonderful teacher. I still go back to the fundamentals you taught when I hit a snag in my work.

Also, thank you to your family for sharing you with the school. It's almost twenty years later and I still remember that you had a newspaper clipping in your office celebrating your granddaughter's (or daughter's?) successful swim across a lake one summer. Wishing you many more happy experiences and celebrations with your family like that!

Shoshie Levine, Contracts/UCC/Independent Study Student, 1998

I wrote several chapters of Collier on Bankruptcy, and spent years doing Chapter 7 & 13 cases thanks to what you taught me.

David E. Levine, NY Disability, 1977

Thanks to Professor Miller for being a wonderful teacher and teaching us to work through legal problems in a logical way. I took only one independent study when I was law school, and I was glad to take it with you.

For your daughter and other family members, thank you for sharing Professor Miller with us. I remember he used to have a newspaper clipping in his office about his daughter's (?) accomplishment of swimming across a lake one summer. I wish you all much happiness and many more good times, at summer lakes and elsewhere.

Shoshie Levine, Former student, 1998

Professor, Thank you so much for your amazing Bankruptcy and Creditor's Rights class during my LL.M. year at BU. Have a wonderful retirement!

Greg Charlet, LL.M. in American Law, 2013

Professor Walter Miller is one of the best professors I have encountered in my education experience. Words by themselves can never express my gratitude to him for all his help and encouragements! Professor Miller was kind to me at the beginning of my LL.M classes to guide me into the American system of learning and understanding the law, he was there whenever I had a question in mind about the ideas that I did not understand, he was a hard working person with a very shining smile on his face. I enjoyed all his classes. Thank you Professor Miller for everything, it was my honor to be your student!!! My best wishes to you on your retirement for a long and happy life!!!!!!

Rudy Coram, LLM in American Law, 2002

I have spent the last 22 years in financial services regulation. Professor Miller's teaching and mentoring of my independent study on OTC derivatives regulation started me out in that direction. Best wishes for a happy retirement full of pleasant memories of all of the students you influenced in such positive ways.

Scott Kursman, Alumni, 1992

Great guy!

Ian Minkin, Former Student, 1999 JD. 2000 LLM

All the best Prof. Miller - after years of practice, I'm now teaching - in fact, I'll be teaching contracts for the first time next year, so I'll be sure to channel you when the hairy hand case comes up!

Elaine Waterhouse Wilson, WVU College of Law, 1993

Wish I had experienced your class my first year rather than my third - you inspired learning the law like no other! Congrats on your retirement.

Alec J Shebiel, BUSL, 1994

Only the announcement of Professor Miller's retirement would get me to submit a form like this. The highlights of my law school career all took place during Professor Miller's lectures (including, of course, his intro to the Lady Duff Gordon case). Sub-consciously, perhaps it was his influence that resulted in my marrying a Pennsylvania Lutheran! Thank you for three great classes (Contracts, UCC, Bankruptcy).

Richard Thorner, BU School of Law, 1989

Professor Miller had a major influence on my professional development. Owing to him, I am now a successful bankruptcy attorney at Herrick, Feinstein in New York City.

James B. Glucksman, Law, 1982

Professor Miller's mantra of "Good Faith, Reasonableness, Shoe Shine & a Smile" has stayed with me longer than almost any other lesson I learned in law school! Thank you for the inspiration along with the education, Wally!

Justin Bookey, Former Contracts Student, 1994

Thank you for your career, Professor Miller. I am a better person for all the wisdom you imparted in class and during office hours, and yours was the only textbook that I was ever sad to finish. You're among the most warm-hearted people I've ever met, and I wish you all the best in your future endeavors.

Jake Pugh, Former Contract Student, Class of 2012

I took Professor Miller's Bankruptcy and UCC classes. They were probably my favorite classes during law school. Professor Miller made learning code related classes fun and interesting. Enjoy retirement and know that you made a difference.

Jeffrey Engelsman, BU School of Law, 1993

Your classes (and property law and land use) gave me the knowledge and skills to learn how to practice as a commercial real estate attorney.

I took bankruptcy only so that I could have you for one more course my third year, and it has been very useful to my practice, throughout the years. It was a sad event when I finally lost possession of my tabbed bankruptcy code (for your open code exam).

I am grateful to have been your student and wish you the very best.

With the fondest of memories,

Jo-Ann Marzullo, 1984

You brought humanity, decency, and a dose of humor to subjects not typically thought of in those terms. It was a privilege to be your student, now nearly two decades ago, and I still apply your lessons and approach to my commercial litigation practice after all these years. Enjoy retirement.

Carl Aveni, Former Student, 1996

An extraordinary and engaging professor whose lessons resonate today 25 years later. A true treasure. Thank you.

Bob Martin, BU School of Law, 1990

Congratulations of your retirement! You served BU well and deserve some peace and tranquility. You were my faculty adviser for the 3rd-year Certification Paper, and gave me great guidance and confidence. I am thankful for that, and wish you the best of luck.

Joseph Ganley, Former Student, 1994

Dear Prof. Miller, I really enjoyed my contract and UCC classes with you. It will also be one of my fondest memories how you pronounced my name at our commencement ceremony. I wish you all the best with your future plans!

Birgit Neubert, LL.M. in American Law, 2004

A good and decent man, you showed how one could find pathos and humanity in unexpected corners of the law. That you made the Commercial Code jangle with lively anecdotes and good humor is a tribute to...well, pedagogical brilliance. Good luck in retirement!

Carl Aveni, Former Student, 1996

One of the finest gentlemen I have the pleasure of knowing. Keenly aware of the human condition. Great story teller and a fine friend. Hopefully we will see more of him now.

Dana N Merrill, Friend, 1952

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